Question: What Are Aviation Holds?

What are the 3 different types of holding patterns?

There are three types of standard holding entries: direct, parallel, and teardrop. They’re simple procedures to help you establish your aircraft in the hold.

What does it mean when a plane is in a holding pattern?

1: the usually oval course flown (as over an airport) by aircraft awaiting clearance especially to land. 2: a state of waiting or suspended activity or progress.

What is a standard hold?

Holding is a predetermined maneuver that keeps aircraft within a specified airspace while awaiting further clearance from ATC. A standard holding pattern uses right turns, and a nonstandard holding pattern uses left turns. The ATC clearance always specifies left turns when a nonstandard pattern is to be flown.

What is a racetrack pattern?

A holding pattern for instrument flight rules (IFR) aircraft is usually a racetrack pattern based on a holding fix. A standard holding pattern uses right-hand turns and takes approximately 4 minutes to complete (one minute for each 180-degree turn, and two one-minute straight ahead sections).

What is a holding fix?

Holding Fix (FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary) – a specified fix identifiable to a pilot by NAVAIDs or visual reference to the ground used as a reference point in establishing and maintaining the position of an aircraft while holding.

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When should you start timing on a hold?


  1. Enter the holding pattern at your planned holding speed.
  2. Start timing as you begin your first 180° turn, stop timing as your roll out.
  3. Double this time to establish your time to make a 360° turn.
  4. You can adjust outbound leg timing to nail the EFC, example follows.

Does a procedure turn count as a hold?

Yes, if you are actually entering into a hold prior to being cleared for approach. My response is to those who believe that flying a hold -in-lieu type procedure turn on an approach counts as a hold.

Why are holding pattern right turns?

Since standard traffic patterns for fixed wing aircraft are left, that would make the holds to the right. “Many holding patterns are executed in VFR conditions, which means that those in a holding pattern could encounter opposite direction VFR traffic that might be climbing or descending through the holding altitude.

When should you slow for holding?

When an aircraft is 3 minutes or less from a clearance limit and a clearance beyond the fix has not been received, the pilot is expected to start a speed reduction so that the aircraft will cross the fix, initially, at or below the maximum holding airspeed.

What is a teardrop entry?

The teardrop entry involves flying through the fix, turning to a heading of inbound course plus 150 degrees (or outbound heading minus 30 degrees), flying straight for one minute, then executing a turn in the same direction as the hold and intercepting the inbound holding course.

What is holding radial?

Determine the holding course and reciprocal of the holding course ( radial ) The holding course is the inbound course to the holding fix. The reciprocal of the holding course ( radial ) determines the direction of entry turn. When the holding fix is a NAVAID, the reciprocal will be the same as the radial.

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What is DME hold?

DME stands for Distance Measuring Equipment, and all it really does is tell you how far you are from the DME transmitter. This is very useful when doing an approach and other types of instrument navigation. A DME hold is basically a hold along a radial at a fix distance from a VOR.

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